Boehner presses Obama to sign Russia sanctions bill

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBottom line Cheney battle raises questions about House GOP's future Lott says lobbying firm cut ties to prevent him from taking clients MORE (R-Ohio) is urging President Obama to immediately sign legislation passed unanimously by the House and Senate to impose new sanctions on Russia.

The bipartisan bill would also authorize the president to send defensive weapons and more non-lethal aid to Ukraine.

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"With this support, we underline our strong moral commitment to the cause of the Ukrainian people," said Boehner in a statement Monday. 

The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Marcy KapturMarcia (Marcy) Carolyn KapturEye on gavel, Wasserman Schultz proposes panel on racial inequality in spending Overnight Defense: Army now willing to rename bases named after Confederates | Dems demand answers on 'unfathomable' nuke testing discussions | Pentagon confirms death of north African al Qaeda leader Top Democrats demand answers on Trump administration's 'unfathomable' consideration of nuclear testing MORE (D-Ohio).

Ukraine is facing a separatist uprising backed by Moscow in the east of the country. In March, Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, and has been supplying separatists with arms and training, which the U.S. has called a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty.

The U.S. and the European Union have enacted several rounds of economic sanctions on Moscow, and helped broker a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine in September, but fighting has continued. 

"Of course, there is much more to do," Boehner said in his statement. 

Boehner said the House would continue to work to provide additional assistance to Ukraine and other partners and friends in the region. He said lawmakers would also work to increase energy supplies to Europe, to create American jobs and break Russia's "political manipulation of access to energy in Europe."